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Why did this game lose popularity?


Akbaro
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I think its a combination of people not liking some of the new updates (I know a lot of people left when they removed buy-able weapons), the game constantly crashing like it used to, and people just getting tired of it when the nostalgia wears off. Also the asshole constantly ddosing the servers a few years back didn't help any.

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Basically the Brief History You Never Asked for

 

That 'hundreds' of players lasted for about 1-2 weeks.. When beta 2 dropped, there was no auto-patcher, so asking all those people that were barely getting into the game from the beginning to re-download the ENTIRE game again was a massive loss in population. Then there was the fact that beta 1 and 2 were both buggy as hell and full of hackers/exploiters, namely speed-hacks and extremely obvious aim-bots. The crashing after every round didn't help either. 

By then it was already down to about 2 active servers at a time, then beta 3 hit and we had 2 active 40 player servers at prime time generally. As much as anyone doesn't want to admit it, a lot of that was due to having the TMX vs. EKT rivalry, where many a TMX player just hated the settings on EKT's server so much that we'd only play on TMX's server. That's back when the server options were vanilla All-Out-War, or 100+ mine-limit marathon. 

Cue the segway as to why the game INITIALLY lost population, but still has held on just fine for almost 5 years:  

People don't like 'stalemates' in FPS games. That was like 90% of all-chat complaints back in beta 1-2 when it was a surge of newer players. When it was marathon that only compounded the stalemated feeling, especially because there was no veterancy, no really strong anti-building infantry, or leeway on building losses (Losing the Barracks or the WF just meant... you can't buy anything except free infantry).

The games just never felt like they were going anywhere, namely to people who didn't read chat and coordinate, which was a massive number of people who were already confused as to what was going on. HELL, I originally stopped playing OldRen because it had turned into nothing but marathon servers being populated (which isn't the case anymore). For that matter, I had moved on to Planetside 2 instead of RenX, though I still played a bit when my Planetside crew wasn't around. 

Secondly, but possibly more important, is just that Ren's infantry combat is... different. People compare it to Quake and Unreal with its reliance on headshots and high-TTK, but going back to both of those aforementioned games, neither of them has as ridiculously inflated TTK/Headshot multipliers as Renegade did.  It made/makes infantry combat feel exceptionally unrewarding, and running back and forth holding down the left mouse button wasn't most people's idea of entertaining. This was only compounded by 200 damage, 1-shot-per-second, no-spread 1k snipers running trains on people who dared pick anything else pre-beta 5.x.  

Both of those reasons are why I could never get any of my own friends into the game. That includes the ones who used to play OldRen for hours on end, but nowadays can't really stand it beyond a few minutes of nostalgia. 

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 Roughly early beta 5, pre-Yosh, was when the steady population decline really started to happen. That's when Constructive Tyranny rose out of the dissolved ashes of TMX, and the TMX server died off, which left people not wanting to play on EKT, but not wanting to play some other half-dead server. It took CT a little while to ever take off as an AOW server, but even then it was unlikely to get those player counts back up to make 2 40 player servers. Game wasn't being advertised, and to be fair, development was at a snail's pace. It really was when I was at least contemplating leaving Ren(X), since my people were leaving all around me, but it was still fun to make mutators and stuff.

Cue the next phase in Ren-X's life: The era of @DoctorB0NG and @yosh56 

Basically, beta 5.1 is where infantry finally got overhauled to be a bit more like A Path Beyond, without fully committing to whatever the hell APB did to infantry. It also was when repair tools were introduced, and when building armour was finally just FORCED on, as opposed to a server side option.

By then, -everyone- was basically forced to play marathon, so I, influenced by some very outspoken community members, basically convinced the devs to take back their own game, and if everyone was going to have to deal with the marathon epidemic, then the game might as well just build itself for having no time limit.  

So, building armour, infantry being given actual characteristics , as opposed to just re-skins with different guns and linearly escalating health values, and the removal of buyable Carbines/Tib-weapons basically caused this hugenormous uproar from, let's face it, the people that completely made their living off of broken shit. Some tried to complain that building armour made killing buildings too easy, but they would bring up the complaint in like... a 4v4. Then some ignorant individuals claimed Engineers were useless now because the repair tool existed (Because you can 'totally' hold the field with repair tools). 

Long story short, many a purist left that day. However, we had a second player-base building anyway with the pick-up-games, which filled in the gap of those who were up in arms over any change enough to leave, and once the initial shock of the changes wore off, the population stabilized itself. In fact, the population actually grew a bit, but the mentality of joining empty servers never did. 

Then, because this still isn't over, @DoctorB0NG was thankfully brought back into the game by yours truly, thanks to some commander shenanigans back in the day, and his server expertise helped us survive and mitigate the Great DDoS Blizzard of 2015. It helped us survive, but by no means did that not hurt the player base before it could really increase back to what it used to be in beta 3-5.0 ish. The DDoS blizzard lasted for about 6-7 months, with a few hits here and there for another year. Through it all though, I refused to stop updating, and B0ng refused to stop hardening servers burning his eyes out sifting through packets for patterns. 

Fast-forward some years, and even though they told us this game was going to be totally dead after like beta 4 (because the Ramjet lost its 1-hit body kill =|  ), we're still kicking and actually hitting higher playercounts on weekends than we ever did back in beta 3, with triple digits common during the PUGs. It also helps that the game gets patched fairly regularly, especially when you factor in the number of people actually working on it. That helps keep it in the public eye on Facebook and around the internet

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So in conclusion, the game only really had those 100's of players on many servers for about a month after release. The issues of OldRen plagued it enough to keep new players /uninstalling after a few games.  

Beta 2 having to be re-downloaded killed those who gave it a chance.

Bugs/CONSTANT crashing/hacking/exploits killed it some more. Then there was just consistency after that, with the decline after beta 4, then the leveling off, then initial decline when the first big patch for beta 5 was released with me there to blame for everything (whether I did it or not). After that the player-base grew again and leveled off. Then we had the great DDoS blizzard which helped kill off more players, and now we're just refusing to die so long as we're filling a server everyday, and know we can hit 100+ on weekends. 

I've been a part of dead games.... this isn't one of them. Section 8: Prejudice was a dead game. Struggling to get 8 people in a game built for 32 players: that's dead. 

 

 

 

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Guest once upon the time

I played from Beta 2 and I must honestly say I can not remember hundreds of players.

The number of players has stagnated for years for various reasons.
Objectively speaking, Renegade X is not a mainstream game due to the gameplay. Renegade X is just a very special game that you like or stop very quickly. My two sons do not even come up with the idea to install the game because they know it from my PC.


The number of players always fluctuates in the same area and the downloads can not really be taken as a benchmark. Crucial is really just how many players in the week populate server, on the weekend it's just more.

 

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So there where never hundreds of players if I understand right.

Anyways, thanks for that piece of history. I really like this game and I have always been curious about the history about it. And about the changes and bugs and stuff, it is just part of the developing process right. Saw some videos on youtube when it was still a mod. I am also curious about the prices that this game won (you can see it on the wiki). Is there not a chance to compete for more prices? Or does it also have to do with ea rights and stuff?

 

Edited by Moat
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2 hours ago, iridesence said:

the lack of advertising doesn't help either.  cant attract new players as easily if nobody is hearing about your game. 

saying that though  this is a niche type of game as well, which further reduces the potential target audience.

Well there was an AdWords campaign.

@TomUjain knows the details (but they are also in a topic here).
Campaign was halted for several reasons. One is because it lacked a good downloadpage on which is being worked... 

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I knew about this game back since it was still a concept in 2007, but I didn't have a PC powerful enough to run it until Beta 2.

Yeah those "UDK.exe has stopped working" crashes after every match were frustrating. [DDoS's and out of memory crashes aint nothin ;p)

Then Beta 3 came around and fixed that problem, made some interesting improvements if I remember correctly. (sometimes my memory is shit tho)

by beta 4 I wasn't playing much, had sort of lost interest in not many new updates or improvements and life was taking priority in other areas

but when Beta 4.5/5 landed with the new tanks and improvements is when it caught my interest again and I've been playing regularly since then.

 

Honestly I do have to thank the Facebook page cuz that's what helped spark my renewed interest in the game (I think it was the teaser for the Wolverine that really caught me)

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14 hours ago, SilentKnight said:

I played from Beta 2 and I must honestly say I can not remember hundreds of players.

The number of players has stagnated for years for various reasons.
Objectively speaking, Renegade X is not a mainstream game due to the gameplay. Renegade X is just a very special game that you like or stop very quickly. My two sons do not even come up with the idea to install the game because they know it from my PC.


The number of players always fluctuates in the same area and the downloads can not really be taken as a benchmark. Crucial is really just how many players in the week populate server, on the weekend it's just more.

 

In all honesty, I was watching this AlChestbreach video where he plays Renegade X and there were a bunch of servers with well over 100 players on, ironically he couldnt get into one. I played the game for a little bit back in 2015 I think, so I dont know much.

 

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tbh, I still like the game, I just haven't had the time to boot it up. its got maps and soldiers and all that good stuff but, it needs more populated servers than the same old two or three and maybe even more maps because I can't see myself faffing about in 2 hour long matches on Field like I did when I first discovered the game and when you have only 2 or so servers all stuck in a stalemate on Field until one team slips up, it kind of becomes self explanatory why people like me would tap out for a while.

On the topics of maps, I'm still working on one myself so I know its hard shit to do but, this game needs more asymmetrical maps to keep gameplay from being repetitive. I know that's kind of a hallmark of Renegade but, I feel like it shouldn't have been.

Also, I feel like maps NEED ACTUAL countdown timers so these stalemates can be snuffed out and actual map rotations can actually happen.

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5 minutes ago, RadicalEdward2 said:

What would also help is putting out another lit trailer like the Do It Up one and boosting it for views. Its hard for the game to grow if its almost exclusively by word-of-mouth.

another major problem is they cannot make even one penny from this game or EA will sue this game into oblivion.   intellectual property issues and whatnot.

 

this means certain methods of advertising is off-limits.  as well as making any advertisement efforts a giant money sink.

Edited by iridesence
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3 minutes ago, iridesence said:

another major problem is they cannot make even one penny from this game or EA will sue this game into oblivion.   intellectual property issues and whatnot.

that's true but, promotions would help with increasing traffic cause the game was always in the 2 to 3 populated server range for as long as I could remember.

Also, its not like there isn't a demand for good C&C fan content either. OpenRA is still doing swimmingly last time I checked.

Maybe do some cross promoting with them dudes?

Edited by RadicalEdward2
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